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Rabbi's Message - Parshat Yitro

02/19/10 08:41:58


Dear All,

I would like to share an inspiring word of Torah with you from this

week's Torah portion. Hopefully it will connect the time and tradition

of our Torah to today's challenging events in our daily lives. I will

try to connect with you on a weekly basis. If you do not want to

receive this in an e mail form you can always find it on our Shul

website at

Wishing you and your family a Shabbat Shalom

Avram Bogopulsky, Rabbi of Beth Jacob Congregation.


The image of Moshe Rabbeinu coming down Har Sinai with the luchos is

forever embedded in our minds from our youth. Two tablets side by side

each containing five of the dibros (statements). The right side

representing mitzvos bein Adom La'Chaveiro (commandments between man

and God) and the left side mitzvos bein Adom LaChaveiro (commandments

between man and his fellow man).

One would think that the relationship between man and Hashem is more

important or weighs heavier than the existence between man and his

friend. But to the contrary, we see from the words of the Rambam in

Hilchos Teshuva that we cannot approach Hashem for forgiveness unless

we have settled all outstanding matters between ourselves. Chazal are

replete with the importance of our middos between each other, Hashem

ca tolerate us being disobedient but cannot stand for the injustices

perpetrated against mankind.

It is for this reason that in this week's parsha, prior to the giving

of the Torah the Jewish people responded to Hashem's offer of the

Torah with the words Naaseh V'Nishma. In Shmos 19:8 the verse states

"Vayaanu kal ha'Am yachdav VaYomru kol asher diber Hashem Naaseh And

all the people answered together and said, "All that God has spoken we

will do" The Chidushei Harim remarks that each individual Jew should

have responded e'eseh -"I will do" instead of Na'aseh. The Gerrer

Rebbe says that when the Jews heard about the Torah and realized its

beauty and importance, each individual took upon himself not only to

observe it, but also to be responsible for all other Jews doing so.

Each one responded in the plural "Na'Aseh" meaning "I will do, and

also see to it that other Jews will do.

As it says in the Gemara Shavuos 39a Kal Yisroel Areivin Ze Lazeh

"Each Jew is a guarantor for his fellow".

A second interpretation of why it says Na'Aseh is given by Reb Meir

Simcha of Dvinsk in his classic commentary the Meshech Chochma. He

says that no one Jew can fulfill ALL of the mitzvos of the Torah by

themselves. Since there are certain mitzvos that are designated for

Kohanim, others for Leviim, the King, the Kohen Gadol, to those who

owned fields or a house. Each and every Jew has to fulfill his/her

Mitzva and that's what makes us a complete nation. Furthermore,

learning about that mitzva can fulfill any mitzva that we cannot do

today. Therefore, when everyone responded together that we would do

whatever Hashem says, that's what binds us all as a nation. Only when

the Jewish people do things collectively, and compliment each other by

filling in for each other can we respond together. Otherwise we are

just individuals without the force of a wholesome people.

We are living through difficult and turbulent times. From earthquakes

and natural disasters to young Jewish boys being incarcerated in a

Japanese prison. A young Jewish boy being harassed by the authorities

(after landing) over his wearing Tefillin on a recent plane ride, to

economic hardships all around us we need to focus on our Middos

amongst ourselves.

Hopefully the message of the two Luchos side by side will remind us of

our ultimate responsibilities and bring a salvation to Klal Yisroel

and the world we live in.
Sat, August 8 2020 18 Av 5780